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Orthodontic Emergency Guide

Serious orthodontic emergencies rarely happen, but in case of urgent issues, our clinic is ready to help. For after-hour emergencies, simply call our office, leave your contact information and the details of your emergency. We will then make sure to get back to you as soon as possible.

For non-urgent orthodontic issues, you can refer to the information that we have prepared on this page. If you can’t find the solution to your problem below, call us to schedule an appointment so we can help you.

Using Orthodontic Wax

For many of the issues below, we may instruct you to use orthodontic wax to relieve your discomfort. We will provide you with some wax during your appointments and give you directions on how to use it. In case you run out, these products are easily available in most pharmacies and drug stores.

Cheek, Lip and Tongue Tenderness

The inside of your mouth is made of soft surfaces which may take a while to adjust to the hard parts of your braces. If you are experiencing irritation of your tongue, lips or the insides of your cheeks from your braces, applying orthodontic wax may provide relief. In case the irritation persists, you can try rinsing your mouth with warm salt water as described in the previous section.

Soreness caused from braces and appliances

It is typical and perfectly normal for your teeth to be sore and a bit uncomfortable for the first 3-5 days after getting your braces on. We recommend taking a pain reliever, like you would for a headache, for the first couple days as needed. It is common for your mouth to take up to a couple weeks to “toughen up” and become used to your new braces.

To relieve the pain of canker sores, irritations and raw spots that may begin to form inside your mouth, you can dissolve one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water, swish and gargle this solution for just a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater). In the meantime, orthodontic wax can be used to lessen the rubbing and irritations the new braces may cause.

Loose Teeth

Don’t be alarmed if your teeth feel loose at first. This is necessary so they can shift to their new proper positions. Once your teeth are in their final position, the bone will hold your teeth securely again. This is why your retainer is so important!

Loose Wires and Bands

Inconveniences during orthodontic treatment can happen, such as wires, bands, brackets or an elastic band coming loose. Please contact our Hometown Orthodontics team as soon as possible so that we can arrange to check and repair your appliance in a timely manner. Be sure to save any parts and pieces that come off and bring it to the office with you.

So that you don’t go too long experiencing any possible discomfort, we may instruct you to help yourself with some temporary fixes. A loose wire can be tucked back in or out of the way using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil.

A ball of wax, a wet cotton ball or a small piece of sugar free gum placed over the loose or broken wire can temporarily relieve the discomfort.

Take care of your orthodontic appliances

It is important to wear your orthodontic appliances correctly and for as long as prescribed by your orthodontist. A broken, poor fitting, or forgotten appliance can increase your estimated treatment time, causing you to have to wear your appliances longer and/or possibly not being able to achieve ideal treatment results. Consistency in wearing your appliances, including rubber band elastics, headgear and retainers is crucial to moving your teeth and jaws into their correct positions.

Orthodontics and Athletics

Special precautions must be taken if you’re an athlete, particularly if you play contact sports where there’s a risk of getting hit in the face. These include boxing, soccer, football, skiing, etc. We do recommend wearing a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliances. Our Hometown Orthodontics clinical team is more than happy to help you find the right mouthguard for you, your sport and your appliance.

In the unfortunate event of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and orthodontic appliances to ensure nothing is broken. If you do notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, please contact Hometown Orthodontics right away. In most cases, you can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.

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